Recent research carried out by Find Betting Sites showcased the top 100 highest paid athletes in the world.
On this list were the likes of Conor McGregor from MMA, Lionel Messi from Football, Canela Alvarez from Boxing, Tiger Woods from Golf and more. Surely, we can agree that these are all elite champions within their respective sports and also that they know how to earn good money, given that they made the list. These earners were also top of their respective sport. For example, McGregor earned a total of $208 million, Messi earned $126 million and Tiger Woods earned $62.2 million.
A relatively new entrant onto the list was Virat Kohli from the sport of Cricket. This athlete earned a total of $31.5 million – an incredible sum of money. Virat Kohli was the highest paid cricket player on the list, and placed as the 59th highest paid athlete in the world. The research carried out by Find Betting Sites also split the earnings into salary and winnings income, as well as other sources of income such as endorsements and branding deals, alongside any other source of money which came from outside of the stadium and was not directly related to the sport matches, tournaments, etc. Around $28 million of Virat Kohli’s $31.5 million came from sources of income other than direct salaries and winnings. Specifically, Kohli earned a lot of money from various endorsement and advertising deals.
It is refreshing to see Virat Kohli on the list, amidst the incredible amounts of American football and basketball players, who dominated the list this year, amounting to around 67 of the players featured on this year’s list. But what makes Virat Kohli so special to be placed on the list? And how does he even make so much money from endorsements? We know that American football and Basketball in American is serious business – literally. There is an incredible culture around these sports, and the extent to which they are commercialized leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of where all of this money and high earners come from.
Virat Kohli has actually amassed around 120 million new Instagram followers in recent years. This is an insane amount, as it is more than Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar have in total (on Instagram!). Therefore, Virat Kohli is a strong connection point between potential brands and companies as well as literally millions of potential consumers. This makes Virat Kohli the main man to whom companies should talk to if they wish to connect with a market in India, for example. This $28 million dollar comes from around two dozen (24) endorsement partners which Virat Kohli has, such as the German sportswear giant Puma, which even gave Virat Kohli a specific shoutout in their 2020 annual business report, where they thanked him (or, at least credited him) for Puma’s supposed market-leading position in India.
Athletes with huge social media followings can be a strong connector for brands and consumers; and because of that, they are the prime hotspot for hot deals between these brands and the sportsperson. A great example we have talked over is Virat Kohli as, not only is he an incredibly sportsperson in the sport of Cricket, but his newly gained 120 million followers on Instagram also serve as a potential client base for brands, two dozen of which have struck lucrative deals with Virat Kohli. This showcases how strong a large social media following can be for sportspeople in terms of earnings potential, and it doesn’t seem to have any limits.
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